The people that make up a company determine that company’s success or failure. However, finding the right people to fit your business can be hard and there isn’t necessarily a handy guide to make it easier. Many employers hire based on how they feel about an applicant.

However, a recent article by a former Googler outlines his best practices for finding candidates. He calls this “the boring way” that “almost no one uses” and describes some common-sense strategies for finding strong candidates. The basic idea is that a traditional, skills-based assessment should trump any gut decisions. Additionally, this hiring process can provide legal benefits.

Clarity can solve problems before they happen

The first step in the suggested process is “defining the position.” This means thinking over exactly what your need is and only hiring to that need. Maintaining a clear set of job duties means your company will:

  • Look only at qualified candidates with the resume and experience required for the position
  • Ensure that the person hired will have a complete understanding of their duties
  • Manage the expectations both of the company and candidate
  • Increase the diversity of possible candidates

These results by themselves are desirable business goals. Ensuring good candidates from a diverse pool that fit the business need, and have exact expectations for their work is a healthy approach. It can head off misclassification of contractors and full-time employees and make duty allocation a breeze for managers.

And yet, many companies will hire “good people” and find a place for them, even if they aren’t right for the position. This can be dangerous. Ohio, like all other states, has laws against discrimination. Going “off-book” to hire a candidate that doesn’t meet basic qualifications over more qualified applicants can absolutely look like favoritism. Perception, in this case, is what will matter when it comes to facing a discrimination lawsuit, even if you did nothing wrong.

Protect your company from employment law problems

Hiring isn’t easy. There’s a lot at stake to make the right choice and it’s almost certain someone will walk through the door who blows you away with their personality and presentation. Yet, if they don’t meet the basic qualifications, it may make more sense to choose a candidate who does. It can take a lot of guts to ignore your gut feeling.